Naturally. Read more »
Phil Falcone, as some of you may know, has made some mistakes in the last couple years. Pouring his investors’ money into a wireless start-up that may or may not ever get off the ground. Offering those who wanted out illiquid LightSquared equity instead of cash. Not getting his wife a driver for party-time. If you’re wondering why we haven’t mentioned the incident in which he borrowed $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes, which he had not set aside enough money to cover, it’s because Phil doesn’t count it as a mistake, regardless of what you, or the SEC, or anyone else says. Read more »
Harbinger Capital-Backed LightSquared: What If We Told You We Could Build A Wireless Network That Doesn’t Kill People Via GPS Interference? Does That Sound Like Something You’d Be Interested In?By Bess Levin
As many of you know, the last year or so has been a pretty tough one for Phil Falcone. In addition to a civil suit against him by Harbinger Capital investors, DWAI’s on the home front, and the pesky matter of being charged with securities fraud by the SEC, which would like to see him banned from the industry, what’s really been plaguing him has been the opposition encountered by LightSquared, his dream and the thing he’s more or less staked all his and his investors’ money on. Before it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, the most serious charge against the company was that while it may seek to create “convenient connectivity for all,” in doing so, the odds are high it would cause GPS interference that would result in boats getting lost at sea; “degrade precision services that track hurricanes, guide farmers, and help build flood defenses“; and, according to the FAA, “cost 794 lives in aviation accidents over 10 years with disruptions to satellite-aided navigation.” Now, four months later, the would-be wireless network has come back with a plan: LightSquared, but without all the murderous bits (for now). Read more »
To put it lightly, the last couple years have been a rather dark time for Phil Falcone. Though his woes are too numerous to mention in full, they include: the adversity he’s faced in getting people to believe in LightSquared; his unbelievably pissy investors, who still aren’t over the time he borrowed $113 million from a gated fund to pay personal taxes, or offered to pay out redemptions in illiquid LightSquared equity; the Securities and Exchange Commission, which wants him barred from the industry; the woman who once offered a respite from it all, who now won’t even come out of her room when she knows he’s home; and, of course, the plunging returns in his once highly profitable hedge fund. It would be enough to make a grown man say ‘Fuck, it. I’m done.’ Put a few things in a sack, tie it to the blade of a hockey stick, and hitchhike back to Minnesota. But Phil didn’t do that and now? After a merciless storm of shit that felt like it would never ease up? After long days of investors and regulators breathing down his neck and nights of having to pound on the front door because he was accidentally purposely locked out of the house? The tide feels like it’s turning for Philip Falcone. Read more »
LightSquared’s lenders on Tuesday will take their fight to probe the troubled wireless venture’s main backer, Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners, to a bankruptcy judge. The lenders, which are owed more than $1 billion, are eyeing loans LightSquared took out last summer from Harbinger, which owns most of LightSquared’s stock and has four of the company’s six board seats. The lenders say the loans appear to be “insider” deals that deserve scrutiny and might even be eligible to be unwound through litigation, a move that could boost the lenders’ own standing in the line of creditors waiting for payment in LightSquared’s Chapter 11 case. Harbinger is fighting the proposed investigation, which it says the lenders are pushing in a bid to “embarrass” and “harass” the hedge fund. It said the alleged red flags the lenders see in the loans “are utter nonsense comprised of baseless and disingenuous allegations or flat out misstatements.” [WSJ]
“Today’s charges read like the final exam in a graduate school course in how to operate a hedge fund unlawfully,” Robert Khuzami, director of the S.E.C.’s division of enforcement, said in a statement. “Clients and market participants alike were victimized as Falcone unscrupulously used fund assets to pay his personal taxes, manipulated the market for certain bonds, favored some clients at the expense of others, and violated trading rules intended to prohibit manipulative short sales.” [Dealbook]
And as promised, Falcone will be fighting the charges. He wants to “borrow” $113 million from his clients that’s his business and nobody else’s. The defense rests! [Earlier]
Securities And Exchange Commission Still Hung Up About The Time Phil Falcone Borrowed Money From A Gated Fund To Pay Personal TaxesBy Bess Levin
Remember the time Harbinger Capital Partners founder Phil Falcone was a little short on cash, and decided to “borrow” $113 million from a fund in which redemptions had been suspended in order to pay personal taxes, which he later begrudgingly apologized for? Unfortunately for Big P, the SEC does. (The regulator also recalls he time he allegedly played favorites with Goldman and allegedly manipulated some markets.) Read more »
Bankruptcy “is intended to give LightSquared sufficient breathing room to continue working through the regulatory process that will allow us to build our 4G wireless network,” Chief Financial Officer Marc Montagner said in a statement. [Bloomberg]
LightSquared is a wireless venture that seeks to create “convenient connectivity for all.” But those of you who’ve been keeping up know that to one man, it’s so much more. That man being, of course, hedge fund manager Phil Falcone. LightSquared is his dream. His baby. His world. His everything. And, because he has poured his heart, soul, and firm’s money into LightSquared, it is also the thing that stands to make or break Harbinger Capital. Success will mean billions for Falcone and his investors. Failure will mean Wilbur Falcone selling her eggs to a barren couple willing to pay top dollar for the DNA of a blue-eyed classically trained singer with an IQ of 150 and legs like Tina Turner.
Unfortunately, things have not been going so well for LightSquared. The yachting community worries that GPS interference caused by LS will result in boats getting lost at sea. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says LightSquared“may degrade precision services that track hurricanes, guide farmers and help build flood defenses.” The FAA put out a study that estimates LS could “cost 794 lives in aviation accidents over 10 years with disruptions to satellite-aided navigation.” The only person defending the thing (besides Phil) is Karl Rove. Meanwhile, the SEC wants to see Falcone banned from the industry, Bloomberg News has put a reporter on the “Phil Falcone Pit Stains” beat, and his investors, for the most part, despise him for petty reasons that no rational adults would ever get upset about, like borrowing $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes and tying up much of their capital in a side project building walkie-talkies that might not pan out on account of the growing opinion that it might kill a few people.
At this time, a lesser man might decide to cut his losses and/or look within and say “Maybe my investors aren’t the problem, maybe I’m the problem.” Phil Falcone is no such man. He’s figured out a few things and what they boil down to is that his impatient, pissy investors are what is standing in the way of LightSquared soaring, which it will, when it is ready. And if those pricks won’t agree to stick around for an investment time horizon of inifinty, he’ll find people who will. Read more »
The Only Thing That Keeps Phil Falcone Up At Night Is Counting All The Money He’s Going To Make Off Of LightSquaredBy Bess Levin
From outward appearances, the past couple years have been a stressful time for Phil Falcone. After making billions of dollars for himself and for his investors on subprime, the Harbinger Capital Partners founder provoked the ire of many a client by tying up a good chunk of their money in a wireless start-up called LightSquared (a company the Federal Communications Commission is no fan of, due to the fact that it reportedly interferes with GPS devices used on land, sea, and in outer space), by borrowing $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes, and by only allowing certain investors (Goldman Sachs) to get out while freezing redemptions for others and then telling them they could leave if they found some else to pick up their stake. Assets under management at Harbinger have dropped $23 billion, from a peak of $26 billion. For a variety of reasons, the Securities and Exchange commission wants to see him banned from the industry. A worried Bloomberg News reporter recently revealed he has a problem with pit stains (“[his] shirt appeared darker under the arms in his office last month”), which wouldn’t pose an issue were his shirt supply not dwindling rapidly (“One place Falcone is visiting less frequently is Domenico Vacca, the New York boutique where suits retail for $3,900 and shirts $490, according to a person with knowledge of his purchases. He orders every four or five months [now] compared with every two or three months between 2006 and 2009″). Read more »